County Native Dr. Jessica Meir to take two spacewalks this month

County native Dr. Jessica Meir will be a part of two out of three spacewalks planned for this month. Four astronauts will venture outside the International Space Station for these three spacewalks to complete battery upgrades and finalize repairs to an invaluable cosmic ray detector, this according to NASA.

Expedition 61 Flight Engineers Jessica Meir and Christina Koch of NASA are scheduled to conduct spacewalks Wednesday, Jan. 15, and Monday, Jan. 20. During that time they will finish replacing nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries that store power generated by the station’s solar arrays on the station’s port truss.

Assuming the battery work goes as planned, NASA says astronaut Andrew Morgan and space station Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) will exit the station Saturday, Jan. 25. They will finish installing the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer’s (AMS) new cooling apparatus and lines begun in November and December, and verify they are ready for use.

Live coverage of all three spacewalks will begin at 5:30 a.m. EST on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

These will be the second and third spacewalks for Meir and the fifth and sixth spacewalks for Koch.

Morgan performed the three previous spacewalks to repair the spectrometer, which is searching for dark matter and antimatter in the universe using the station’s unique location and capabilities for scientific research.

The spacewalks will be the 225th, 226th and 227th in support of space station assembly and maintenance.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.